Hosts: Rhipicephalus sanguineus will feed on a wide variety of mammals, but dogs are the preferred host in the U.S., and the population can reach pest proportions in houses and kennels.
R. sanguineus is one of the most important vectors of diseases in dogs worldwide. In the United States, R. sanguineus is a vector of the diseases in dogs: canine ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) and canine babesiosis (Babesia canis). In dogs, symptoms of canine ehrlichiosis include lameness and fever; those for babesiosis include fever, anorexia and anemia. R. sanguineus has not been shown to transmit the bacteria which causes Lyme disease in humans. In parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, it is a vector of Rickettsia conorii, known locally as Mediterranean spotted fever, boutenneuse fever, or tick typhus.
The best management strategy is prevention of infestations in the house or kennel. In addition, the earlier the infestation is discovered, the easier it is to control. Regular grooming and inspection of pets is essential to management, especially when dogs have been quartered or have interacted with other dogs.
Ticks of Domestic Animals
Ticks of domestic animals directly cause poor health and loss of production to their hosts by many parasitic mechanisms. Ticks also transmit numerous kinds of viruses, bacteria and protozoa between domestic animals. These microbes cause diseases which can be severely debilitating or fatal to domestic animals, and may also affect humans. Ticks are especially important to domestic animals in tropical and subtropical countries. Here the warm climate enables many species of ticks to flourish. Also the numerous wild animals in warm countries provides a reservoir of ticks and infective microbes that spread to domestic animals. Farmers of livestock animals use many methods to control ticks and there are related treatments to reduce infestation of companion animals. Veterinarians and animal health agencies work at private, national and international scales to reduce the harm caused by ticks and their associated diseases.